There are four types of work - and each type attracts a different kind of candidate.

Candidates who enjoy details, analysis, or implementing technical or administrative processes. They enjoy understanding what makes something work. They can get into the details of an issue, and can talk at length once you get them talking. Summarizing can be a challenge.

Candidates who good at managing and organizing teams to implement results. They like to improve existing processes. Might not be technically superb but can get results building a strong team.

Candidates who like a fast-paced, challenging environment. Sometimes make quick decisions without all the facts, but they get things done quickly, often under pressure. Sales people often fall within this category.

Creative or strategic thinkers. Come up with lots of new ideas. Can set the direction for a team or company. They sometimes aren't very practical, and occasionally lack managerial strengths, but their ideas can often create great companies.

Use these distinctions to match candidates for jobs.

1. Describe the job in terms of objectives not merely skills required.

2. Categorize each of the objectives in the Job Description in terms one of the four work-types.

3. Categorize each of the candidate's major accomplishments as one of the four work-types.

Pay specific attention to examples based on these questions:

a. Please describe your favorite work experience.
If her favourite work-types match those of the job, you'll know she's properly motivated.

b. What kind of problems do you like to solve?
Get lots of examples. Categorize them as work-types.

Ask for examples of work in which the candidate has excelled. See if the work-type has changed over time. You should be able to see a technical person's progress into management.

This approach will stop you from hiring a person for a sales manager's job when what he really likes to do is sell (entrepreneurial). You'll also discover when someone is great for a strategy job, but not for putting the detailed budget together.

High achievers tend to under-perform when the work they're asked to do isn't what they enjoy doing. So, waste them and lose them if you over-emphasize skills matching.

The best candidates have 1/2 to 2/3 (50-66%) of the required skills and experience. The rest of the hiring decision has to be based on the candidate's innate desire to do a specific kind of job.


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